First Time Paintballers Guide-Top 9 things You Need to Play Paintball
So you and your friends are planning your first paintball outing. The importance of how you prepare can make or break your first time paintball experience. The most common questions that we receive from first timers are what should I wear and what should I bring? These questions can be answered relatively easily by breaking it down from the top to the bottom.
It is also important to think about the characteristics of the sport of paintball and the potential environment that you will be exposed to. Depending on the type of park you will play at and past weather conditions, you could be exposed to muddy slippery trails, hilly terrain, rain, snow conditions as well as cold or warm temperatures. Rule of thumb is to always dress in layers to be able to adjust to weather and temperature fluxuations throughout the day. Below is my recommended list of does and don’ts for the first time baller.
Paintballs travel between 260 and 280 feet per second, which is over 200 miles per hour. Which can make for head shoots rather uncomfortable. Many people wear baseball hats, do rags, winter caps or paintball specific headwear to protect the melon.
Rule of thumb for paintball is to have as little skin exposed as possible, paintballs to the bare skin can sting kind of like taking a rubber band extending it and letting it go. So wearing a t-shirt should not be your first choice. Many paintballers wear dark colored loose sweatshirts, hoodies with a long sleeve t-shirts, paintball specific jersey and a jacket for back up so you can be prepared for the weather fluxuations. Also wearing loose clothes helps with hits to not break on target, meaning you will get eliminated less and shots wont sting as much.
Hands are one of the most common things shot when playing paintball as you are exposing them frequently by pointing the marker down range at your opponents. Hands have tender spots on them and paintball shots to the hand (especially at closer ranges) can be relatively sensitive. Many people wear lite duty mechanics, gardening gloves, golf gloves, football gloves fingerless weight lifting gloves and or paintball specific gloves. I would recommend staying away from winter gloves, welding gloves or latex type gloves as the tend to be too thick and cumbersome for trigger sensitivity.
Paintball can expose your legs to a variety of elements depending on where you are playing i.e.; thorns, twigs, rocks and dirt that can cause you to scratch your legs and knees up a bit. Therefore shorts are not recommended. Many players wear dark/ loose sweat pants, jeans, bdu cargo pants, jump suits or paintball specific pants.
This is one of the most important components, as ankle injuries from paintball are the most common. Lots of people wear football or soccer cleats, army boots or hiking boots. They should be shoes that you do not mind getting wet or dirty.
There are certain types of shoes you should avoid when you play paintball. For your safety and comfort you should not wear sandals or open toed shoes. Since the things that you wear are prone to getting wet and dirty, you should consider bringing a full extra clean outfit for the ride home.
I hope this helps you have a memorable experience paintballing and hope to see you out there. Oh and I also included a first time paintballers checklist below. I recommended using it before any paintball outing.
First time Paintballers checklist:
-Extra full clean outfit for the ride home
-Bring garbage bag to put all your dirty clothes in after you get done playing.
-Bring lots of drinking water
-Towels or rags to clean off equipment and old hits
- Jacket (preferably a rain resistant one)
-Hat or headwear of some sort
-Cash (some parks don’t have credit card machines)--plus it is always a nice gesture to give your buddy that decided to drive a few bucks for gas.
-Check weather 48 hours prior
-Last but not least don’t forget your sense of adventure, as paintball is the most exciting and heart pounding experience that you will ever have.
-Steve Beer RHC Paintball Fields